Speakers 2017

Keep your eyes peeled for all the latest news from our speakers. Follow them on their social media channels or drop in on their website or blog.

AR Venkatachalapathy Historian & Author

AR Venkatachalapathy, historian, author and translator, is Professor at the Madras Institute of Development Studies, Chennai. He has taught at universities in Tirunelveli, Chennai, Chicago, and Singapore. Chalapathy writes in Tamil and English, and has published widely on the social, cultural and intellectual history of colonial Tamil Nadu. His publications include In Those Days There Was No Coffee: Writings in Cultural History; The Province of the Book: Scholars, Scribes, and Scribblers in Colonial Tamilnadu; Chennai, Not Madras (ed); and In the Tracks of the Mahatma: The Making of a Documentary (ed). He has translated Sundara Ramaswamy’s J J.: Some Jottings and, in collaboration with M L Thangappa, has published two volumes of classical Tamil poetry in the Penguin classics: Love Stands Alone and Red Lilies and Frightened Birds. He is the winner of the V K R V Rao Prize (2007). He is now writing a biography of Periyar for Penguin.

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AS Panneerselvan Readers’ Editor, The Hindu

AS Panneerselvan is the Readers’ Editor of The Hindu, an independent internal news ombudsman functioning with clearly formulated Terms of Reference. Apart from being a regular columnist, he is also a journalism teacher and an adjunct faculty of the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. With wide experience in both print and television journalism, he headed the regional media development organisation Panos South Asia for a decade between 2004 and 2014. He is a member of the governing body of the K M Adimoolam Foundation for Arts in Chennai and an editorial advisor for the long-form magazine, The Little Magazine.

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Aanchal Malhotra Writer

Aanchal Malhotra is an artist, writer and oral historian living in Delhi. Her seminal research titled Remnants of a Separation is a material study of the Partition of India, based on objects that were carried across either side of the border during in 1947. It began as a photographic archive and has been exhibited at various galleries across India, Canada and the UK and digitally at the Google Cultural Institute. She is also the co-founder of the Museum of Material Memory, a digital repository of material culture of the Indian subcontinent, tracing family histories and social ethnography through heirlooms, collectibles and objects of antiquity. She can be found at her photoblog, The Hiatus Project, which chronicles her love affair with the city of Delhi.

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Adoor Gopalakrishnan Writer-Director

Adoor Gopalakrishnan is a graduate of the Film Institute of India, Pune, and has written and directed 12 feature films and more than two dozen non-fiction films. His films have been screened in all the major film festivals round the world and he has been awarded the International Film Critics’ Prize six times successively. He received the British Film Institute (BFI) award for the Most Original and Imaginative film of 1982 for Elippathayam. In 2004 the French Government honoured him with the title Commander of the Order of Arts & Letters. He received the Dada Phalke Award in 2005 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2006. He has also received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Cairo, Denver and New Jersey festivals; Hony D. Litts from the University of Kerala, Mahatma Gandhi University and Viswabharati. Has served on the juries of film festivals at Venice, Cairo, Fribourg, Singapore, Hawaii, Sochi, Shanghai and Goa and has published four books on theory and practice of cinema.

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Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush Director

Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth Dhanush is a film director and a startup entrepreneur. She is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer and a voracious reader. In 2015 she set up Ten Entertainment, a digital media to promote short film content. Additionally she oversees the production activities of Wunderbar Films, a production company launched by her actor-husband Dhanush.

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Akshay Manwani Writer

Akshay Manwani turned to freelance writing in 2009. He has since written on Indian cinema and popular culture for a variety of publications such as The Caravan, The Indian Quarterly, Scroll.in, Mint, Business Standard and Mumbai Mirror.  Akshay’s first book was Sahir Ludhianvi: The People’s Poet (2013). In 2014, Akshay won the RedInk award for Best Lifestyle and Entertainment Story, given by the Press Club Mumbai, for his detailed feature on B R Chopra’s Mahabharata television series. Akshay lives with his daughter and wife in Mumbai.

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Akshaya Mukul Author

Akshaya Mukul is a senior editor with The Times of India. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Gita Press and the Making of Hindu India, which won the Tata Prize, the Ramnath Goenka award, the Atta Galatta Prize and has been nominated for Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize and Crossword Book Prize.

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Amandeep Sandhu Author

Amandeep Sandhu was born in Rourkela and has lived in various states of the country. He is the author of two books, Sepia Leaves and Roll of Honour. He currently lives in Bengaluru. He is now working on his non-fiction book, Punjab: Journeys Through Fault Lines, on Punjab 25 years after the insurgency. He also reports on Punjab and writes opinion pieces in various media publications. He has been a farmhand, woollen-garment seller, shop assistant, tuition master, teacher, social worker, journalist, and technical writer for information technology majors. He is a Fellow at the Akademie Solitude, Stuttgart (2013-2015).

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Amruta Patil Writer-Painter

Amruta Patil, writer-painter, is the author of graphic novels Kari, Adi Parva: Churning the Ocean and Sauptik: Blood and FlowersAdi Parva and the recently-released Sauptik are a revisionist retelling of lore from the Mahabharat and Puranas, with lush visuals that emphasise our forgotten connection with the elements, rivers, forests and soil. Patil, who identifies primarily as a writer, has a visual style that incorporates acrylic painting, collage and charcoal. Recurring themes in her work include memento mori, sexuality, myth, sustainable living, and the unbroken thread of stories passed down from storyteller to storyteller through the ages.

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Andaleeb Wajid Author

Andaleeb Wajid is the author of nine novels including Kite Strings, Blinkers Off, My Brother’s Wedding, More than Just Biryani and The Tamanna Trilogy. Her Young Adult novel When She Went Away was published in October, 2015 and Asmara’s Summer in April 2016. Andaleeb enjoys writing about food, relationships and sometimes even weddings. Until recently, Andaleeb used to head the marketing department of a software company. As of March 2016, she returned to full-time writing and is also a creative writing facilitator at Nutcracker Workshops.

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Anil Menon Author

Anil Menon’s short fiction has been translated into Chinese, Czech, French, German, Hebrew, and Romanian. His debut YA novel The Beast With Nine Billion Feet was short-listed for the 2010 Vodafone-Crossword award. Along with Vandana Singh, he co-edited Breaking the Bow, an anthology of speculative fiction inspired by the Ramayana. His most recent work is Half Of What I Say.

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Anita Ratnam Dancer

Anita Ratnam (Dr) is an “intersectionist”, whose work weaves the disciplines of dance, theatre, spoken word, ritual, archaeology, dramaturgy and women’s issues. For over 40 years, she has done over 1300 performances in 37 countries. Her formal training in Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam and Kathakali has given her a distinctive movement vocabulary that she has named Neo-Bharatam. She served as a member of the Executive Board of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, and the ICCR. She is a visiting professor in several American universities. She is now the Vice-President of Association of Bharatanatyam Artistes of India (ABHAI). As a cultural entrepreneur, Ratnam has founded Narthaki.com, the largest portal on Indian dance. She has restored the 15th century performance of Kaisika Natakam in her ancestral village temple of Tirukurungudi.

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Anoothi Vishal Author

Anoothi Vishal is the author of Mrs LC’s Table: Stories on Kayasth Food and Culture. She is a columnist and food writer specialising in food history, culinary links between cultures and restaurant trends. Anoothi is also the founder of The Great Delhi Pop-up and curates culinary events to showcase regional and heritage Indian cuisines to a larger metropolitan audience.

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Anupama Chandra Film Editor, Director, Teacher

Anupama Chandra is a film editor, director and teacher. She graduated with a diploma in film editing from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, in 1997 and degrees in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford, UK in 1995 and St. Stephen’s College, Delhi [1992]. Over the last seventeen years she has worked as an editor on several documentary films. Her most recent work is about the life and work of Mythily Sivaraman, Fragments of a Past, with director and historian Uma Chakravarti; and her own directorial venture The Books We Made, which she co-directed with Uma Tanuku. She also teaches film editing and direction in workshops and co-curricular courses at schools and universities. She is visiting faculty for film editing for the Creative Documentary course at SACAC, New Delhi.

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Anusha Yadav Photographer

Anusha Yadav is a Brand Cultures consultant, Portrait Photographer, and a Curator of online archives. A graduate of NID, Ahmedabad, in 2010, Anusha founded Indian Memory Project that traces a personal history of the Indian subcontinent through images found in personal archives. In 2013, she founded The Memory Company, a creative & curatorial consultancy, whose first international exhibit The Photograph is Proof on historical criminal investigations from India was shown at the Format International Photography Festival, 2015, the UK. Anusha’s awards include an International ‘Honorary mention’ at the Prix Ars Electronica 2013 awards, and Innovator of the Year at the India Today Women’s Summit, 2014. In August 2015, The New Yorker magazine invited her to showcase Indian Memory Project on Instagram.

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Arefa Tehsin Author

Arefa Tehsin has been shortlisted for The Hindu Young World-Goodbooks Best Author Award 2017 for her book Wild in the Backyard.  Her picture book The Elephant Bird was read at 3200+ locations in India from the slums to the Presidential library on the International Literacy Day, 2016 and translated in 25 languages by communities. She is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books on wildlife. She was appointed as the Honorary Wildlife Warden of Udaipur and has pursued nature conservation through her writings and columns. Arefa is also an avid traveller and contributes travel pieces for various publications. @ATehsin

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Arun Krishnamurthy Environmentalist

Arun Krishnamurthy is the founder of the Environmentalist Foundation of India. Passionate about the environment, he embarked on a journey to learn about the wildlife and habitat through field work. Through EFI, he has helped clean up and reclaim 86 water habitats in the country and works with young minds to take the work forward.

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Aruna Sairam Musician & Composer

Aruna Sairam is a Carnatic vocalist, composer, collaborator, humanitarian, and speaker. In addition to her performances in India, Aruna has taken Carnatic music to the global arena at prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall. Currently Vice-Chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi, she was appointed as Advisor to the State Department of Culture in 2008 by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Aruna works for the musical education of underprivileged students, through the Nadayogam Trust, which she founded in 2011. Aruna was the first to incorporate Abhang, a Western Indian musical form, into a traditional, South Indian concert. By interacting with national and international musicians, Aruna communicates beyond regional contexts, using melody as a language of human expression. Her many awards include the Padma Shri and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

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Arunava Sinha Translator-Writer

Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and nonfiction into English. Thirty-six of his translations have been published so far. Twice the winner of the Crossword translation award, for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2011), respectively, and the winner of the Muse India translation award (2013) for Buddhadeva Bose’s When The Time Is Right, he has also been shortlisted for The Independent Foreign Fiction prize (2009) for his translation of Chowringhee. Besides India, his translations have been published in the UK and the US in English, and in several European and Asian countries through further translation. He also edits the Library of Bangladesh series and curates Seagull Books’ India List. He was born and grew up in Kolkata, and lives and writes in New Delhi.

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Balaji Vittal Author

Balaji Vittal graduated in Civil Engineering from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. A participant in film & music quizzes and an amateur singer at college, Balaji freelanced for The Hindu’s supplements MetroPlus and Young World from 2007. He co-authored a book on composer Rahul Dev Burman — D. Burman: The Man, The Music (2011), which won the President’s Swarna Kamal Award for Best Book on Cinema at the National Film Awards that year. His second book — Gaata Rahe Mera Dil (2015) also co-authored with Anirudha Bhattacharjee — was awarded the Excellence in Writing on Cinema at the 17th Mumbai Film Festival in November 2015. Balaji is currently working on multiple books.

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Baradwaj Rangan Film Critic

Baradwaj Rangan is a film critic and Associate Editor at The Hindu. He won the National Award (Swarna Kamal) for Best Film Critic in 2005. His writings on cinema, music, art, books, travel and humour have been published in various magazines like Open, Tehelka,Biblio, Outlook and The Caravan. He has co-written the screenplay for the Tamil rom-com, Kadhal 2 Kalyanam. He has written dialogue and narratives for the dance dramas Krishna and Meghadootam. He teaches a course on cinema at the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. He has served as a member of the jury at the National Film Awards, and as a member of the selection committee for international films at the Jio MAMI Mumbai Film Festival. Baradwaj has contributed to various anthologies, the most recent being an essay in Subramaniyapuram: The Tamil Film in English Translation. His first book, Conversations with Mani Ratnam, was published in 2012. His second book, Dispatches From the Wall Corner, was published in 2014.

 

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Bindu Maira Tarot Reader

Bindu Maira has been a New-Delhi based professional Tarot card reader, crystal healer and life coach for 15 years. An English Honours graduate from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, coupled with a degree in German from Pune’s Max Mueller Bhawan, she is an articulate communicator and people’s person. Bindu combines Tarot, colour and crystal healing along with hypnotherapy, sound healing and counselling to guide people. She also runs personal empowerment and karmic healing workshops and organises spiritual and empowerment retreats to help people get in touch with themselves and tap into their innate potential.

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Brit Bildoen Writer

Brit Bildøen, born 1962, is a Norwegian writer. Educated as a librarian, she published her first book, a collection of poetry, in 1991. She has written children’s books, poems and essays, and 14 novels. Her latest novel, Seven Days in August, was voted Best Novel of 2014 by listeners at Norwegian Broadcasting. Brit also translates, teaches creative writing, and works for publishers as a literary consultant. She is also a board member of Norwegian PEN.

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C Basavalingaiah Theatre Director

Basavalingaiah is the Director of the National School of Drama, Bengaluru Centre. He was earlier Director of Rangayana and Assistant Director in The National School of Drama Regional Resource Center (NSD-RRC). His journey in theatre began with his active involvement in Samuddya, a street movement. He has received many awards and honours including the Karnataka Nataka Academy Award and Karnataka State Rajyotsava Award. He has directed several landmark plays in Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Assamese and Malayalam. In 2009, Basavalingaiah directed Manushya Jaati Tanonde Valam, a Light and Sound production for the information and publicity department of the Karnataka Government. Based on the history of Karnataka, this two-hour play involved 300 artists from across the state. In 2010, Basavalingaiah directed a nine-hour play for the Rangayana Repertory. A stage adaptation of Kuvempu’s Malegalli Madumagalu, it was staged in four open areas and involved 150 artists. His plays in Kannada include Kusumabale, The Road, Gandhi vs Gandhi, Shoodra Thapasvi, Tippuvina Kanasugalu, King Oedipus, and Jangamadedege.

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Cate Blake Commissioning Editor, Penguin Random House

Cate Blake is a Commissioning Editor with Penguin Random House Australia. Books she has published have won or been nominated for awards including the National Biography Award, the Ned Kelly Awards, the Davitt Awards, the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and the International Dublin Literary Award. She has a Bachelor of Arts, with honours in English literature and political science, from the University of Melbourne, and has developed her editorial and publishing skills through attending the Residential Editorial Program, run by the Australian Publishers’ Association, and the Yale University Publishing Course in the US. Cate also sits on the board of the Emerging Writers’ Festival in Melbourne.

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Chithra Madhavan Writer

Chithra Madhavan (Dr) has an M.A and M.Phil from the University of Madras and a Ph.D. from the University of Mysore. She is the recipient of two post-doctoral fellowships from the Department of Culture, Government of India and the Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. She is the author of seven books: History and Culture of Tamil Nadu (two volumes), Vishnu Temples of South India (four volumes) and Sanskrit Education and Literature in Ancient and Medieval Tamil Nadu. She has written the text for a coffee-table book Snapshots Of A Bygone Era: A Century of Images, which has more than 100 photographs of various monuments of India. Chithra has co-edited a book South India Heritage: An Introduction containing approximately 500 articles on various aspects of the heritage and culture of South India. She is a guest faculty at various institutions in Chennai such as Kalakshetra Foundation and the Asian College of Journalism. She frequently delivers lectures on temple architecture and iconography at various venues including several IITs.

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Durjoy Datta Author

Durjoy Datta is a novelist, a screenwriter, an entrepreneur and a motivational speaker. He’s the author of 12 bestselling novels. His books predominantly deal with subjects of love, relationships, disability, drug abuse, sexuality and death. Durjoy is the co-founder of Grapevine India Publisher Pvt. Ltd., a mainstream English language publisher that promotes young talent in the publishing industry. He is also a motivational speaker and has spoken in over 100 colleges and schools on the topics of entrepreneurship, writing, marketing, passions etc. Durjoy has, to his credit, nine television shows and over 1000 episodes. The shows have received considerable critical acclaim and commercial success. Durjoy is a graduate from Delhi College of Engineering and Management Development Institute. He worked in the power engineering sector and the banking sector for a few years before quitting it to pursue his entrepreneurial and writing dreams.

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Edwina Johnson Publicity Manager

Edwina Johnson has held significant publishing company roles at Allen & Unwin, Hachette and HarperCollins. Her publicity client list of international authors included such eminent writers as David Suzuki, Margaret Atwood, Hilary Mantel, Jeanette Winterson and Jonathan Franzen. These relationships sustained into the next phase of her career — literary festivals — led by the Sydney Writers Festival where she was the Artistic Operations Manager working over three festivals. Edwina moved to Byron Bay when invited to direct the 2014 Byron Writers Festival and has now curated three festivals as well as managing the year round programme and operations of Byron Writers Festival.

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Fiona Henderson Head of Publishing and Editor, Transworld

Fiona Henderson has more than 20 years experience as a successful trade publisher, head of publishing and editor at Transworld, Random House, HarperCollins, Hachette and Affirm Press. She has published many Australian bestsellers over the years, including Almost French, Holy Cow! and Salvation Creek, and acquired rights for international titles that went on to become local bestsellers like Lucky Man, Catch me If You Can and The Wolf of Wall Street. Her speciality is memoir but she publishes both non-fiction and fiction. Her latest book for Affirm Press is the highly acclaimed debut novel, The Birdman’s Wife.  

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GN Devy Writer

GN Devy studied English Literature at Willingdon College, Sangli; Shivaji University, Kolhapur and Leeds University, U.K. He is the founder of the Bhasha Research and Publication Centre and the Adivasi Academy and has taught Shivaji Univeristy, M S University of Baroda, Leeds University, Yale University and Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information Technology. He has held honorary positions such as Director, IAS Training Centre, M S University; Member, Indian Council for Social Science Research; Chairman, Technical Advisory Group on Denotified and Nomadic Tribes, Government of India; Chairman, People’s Linguistic Survey of India and Member, UNESCO Inter-governmental Committee on Intangible Heritage. He has been the recipient of various awards and fellowships including the Commonwealth Academic Exchange Fellowship, The Fulbright Exchange Fellowship, Katha Translation Award, Sahitya Akademi Award; Gunther Sontheimer Award, SAARC Writers’ Foundation Award, and Padma Shri.  He writes in Marathi, Gujarati and English and is working on a 50-volume series of the People’s Linguistic Survey of India.

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Gauri Viswanathan Author

Gauri Viswanathan is Class of 1933 Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University.  She has published widely on education, religion, and culture; nineteenth-century British and colonial cultural studies; and the history of modern disciplines. She is the author of Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India (Columbia, 1989; 2014) and Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief (Princeton, 1998), which won the Harry Levin Prize awarded by the American Comparative Literature Association, the James Russell Lowell Prize awarded by the Modern Language Association of America, and the Ananda K Coomaraswamy Prize awarded by the Association for Asian Studies. She also edited Power, Politics, and Culture: Interviews with Edward W. Said (Vintage, 2001). She is co-editor of the book series South Asia Across the Disciplines, published jointly by the university presses of Columbia, Chicago, and California under a Mellon grant. She has received Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Mellon fellowships. Her current work is on genealogies of secularism and the writing of alternative religious histories.

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Gauri Devidayal Co-Founder, Magazine Street Kitchen

Gauri Devidayal is a law graduate from the University College London and a qualified Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales. She pursued her career as a tax consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in London and Mumbai. When she married Jay Yousuf, she joined him in creating The Table, a restaurant in South Mumbai. Most recently, Gauri co-founded Magazine Street Kitchen along with Jay and their Executive Chef, Alex Sanchez. This is a culinary playground for intimate dinners, cooking workshops and more housed in a restored heritage structure, in Byculla.

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Geraldine Brooks Author, Journalist

Geraldine Brooks is an Australia-born author and journalist who grew up in Sydney’s western suburbs. In 1982, she won a scholarship to the journalism master’s programme at Columbia University in New York. Later she worked for the Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. In 2006, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for her novel March. Her novels, Caleb’s Crossing and People of the Book were both New York Times bestsellers, and Year of Wonders and People of the Book are international bestsellers, translated into more than 25 languages. She is also the author of the acclaimed non-fiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence. In 2011, she presented Australia’s prestigious Boyer Lectures, later published as The Idea of Home. Her latest title The Secret Chord (2015) was shortlisted for the Indy Awards, chosen by Australia’s independent booksellers. In 2016 she was appointed Officer in the Order of Australia for her services to literature. Geraldine Brooks lives in Massachusetts with her husband, author Tony Horwitz, and their two sons.

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Girish Kasaravalli Filmmaker

Girish Kasaravalli is an award-winning filmmaker whose maiden film Ghatashraddha won three awards at the National Film Awards in 1977. A gold medalist from the Film and Television Institute of India -Pune, Girish has made 14 films in his four-decade career and has won the President’s Lotus Awards 17 times. He is only the third director after Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen to have won the Golden Lotus Award four times. Among his films are Tabarane Katha, Thayi Saheba and Dweepa. He has also made two documentaries Ananthamurthy: Not A Hypothesis But A Reflection on eminent Kannada author U.R. Ananthamurthy and Images/Reflections: A journey into the Images of Adoor Gopalakrishnan. His films have been shown at festivals in London, New York, Rotterdam, Rome, Moscow, among others. His works for television include an adaptation of S.L. Bhyrappa’s Grihabhangha, documentaries on artist K.K. Hebbar and author Niranjana and a four-part serial on the first peasant uprising of Karnataka. He has been awarded the Padma Shri from the Government of India and the Puttanna Kanagal Award from the government of Karnataka.

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Guillermo Rodriguez Author

Guillermo Rodriguez (Dr.), an active promoter of Indo-Spanish cultural relations, is the founding director of Casa de la India, a pioneering cultural centre set up in Spain in 2003. A passionate traveller and multilingual writer, he lived in India in the 1990s and specialised in Indian literary criticism, modern Indian poetry in English and translation, obtaining a PhD from the University of Kerala and the University of Valladolid. He has published critical works on Indian literature and culture in India, Spain, France, Germany and Poland, and is the author of When Mirrors Are Windows: A View of A.K. Ramanujan’s Poetics published in 2016. In 2012 he was awarded the Friendship Award by the Minister of External Affairs, Government of India, for his contribution to Indo-Spanish cultural relations.

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Gulammohammed Sheikh Poet, Artist

Gulammohammed Sheikh studied painting at Baroda and London. He taught art history and painting for nearly three decades at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M S University of Baroda. He has had several exhibitions of paintings in India and abroad including a solo exhibition of paintings at the Centre George Pompidou, Paris, 1985. He has been concurrently involved in the movement of modern Gujarati literature. He has published two collections of poems — Athawa (1974) and Athawa Ane (2014) — and essays on art in Indian and international journals and lectured on Indian art in Asia, Europe and the US. His awards include the Padma Bhushan (2014), Kalidas Samman (2002), Ravi Varma Puraskaram (2009).

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Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar Author

Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar was born, raised, educated, works, and lives in Jharkhand. His first book, a novel, The Mysterious Ailment Of Rupi Baskey, won the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar 2015 and jointly won the Muse India-Satish Verma Young Writer Award 2015, was shortlisted for The Hindu Prize 2014 and a Crossword Book Award 2014, and long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award 2016. His second book, a collection of short stories, The Adivasi Will Not Dance, has been recommended for a course in the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has also published fiction and non-fiction in The Caravan Vantage, The Indian Express, Outlook, Scroll, TheWire, Mint Lounge, BLink, and other places.

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HS Shivaprakash Author, Playwright

HS Shivaprakash is a Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is the author of nine books of poems, 15 plays and three critical works in Kannada, which have been performed and translated into several Indian languages and English, French, Italian and German. His English books include I Keep Vigil of Rudra; Traditional India Theatre; Autumn Ways; Indian Theatre 2000; In Other Worlds: Poems 1976-2000; and Everyday Yogi. He has won several best book prizes from the Karnataka Literary Akademi. His areas of interest include theatre/literary history, Indian theatre, Medieval Studies, Comparative Literature, translation and folklore. His awards include Karnataka’s Rajyotsava Award; the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Sahitya Akademi Award. He has been the editor of Indian Literature; dean of the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, and director of The Tagore Centre, Berlin, Germany. He has travelled, lectured and read poetry in various countries in Europe, Asia and Americas.

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Iffat Fatima Documentary Filmmaker

Iffat Fatima is a Delhi-based independent documentary filmmaker and researcher from Kashmir. Her films include, Lanka: The Other Side of War and Peace; The Kesar Saga; In the Realm of the Visual; and Boojh Sakey to Boojh. Her video installation, Ethnography of a European City: Conversations in Salzburg, questions some of the assumptions in the east  west polarity/ dichotomy /disparity. She did the audio-visual design for Gold Dust of Begum Sultans, an exhibition at the IGNCA and co-edited a compendium Bread Beauty Revolution: Khwaja Ahmad Abbas (1914-1987). Since 2006, she has been working on the issue of enforced disappearances in Kashmir in collaboration with the Association Of Parents Of Disappeared Persons (APDP). In 2011, she made a short film Where Have You Hidden My New Crescent Moon on enforced disappearances. Her most recent film Khoon Diy Baarav (Blood Leaves its Trail) explores issues of violence and memory in Kashmir.

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Ira Mukhoty Author

Ira Mukhoty was educated in Delhi and Cambridge, where she studied Natural Sciences. After a peripatetic youth, she returned to Delhi to raise her two daughters. Living in one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, she developed an interest in the evolution of mythology and history and its relevance to the status of women in India. She has written for magazines on culture and travel. Heroines, her first book, deals with the life of eight great women from India, both mythological and historical. The book is an attempt to understand the idea of heroism when applied to women and what it means for the women of today. Ira is working on her second book, which is a life of the women of the Great Mughals.

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Jayanthi Natarajan Political activist, Lawyer, Columnist, Member of Parliament

Jayanthi Natarajan is a political activist, a lawyer, columnist, and committed campaigner for gender justice. She is a five-time Member of Parliament and has served at various times as Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Minister of State for Coal, for Parliamentary Affairs, and as Minister (Independent charge) of Environment and Forests in the Government of India. She was national Spokesperson of the Indian National Congress for 10 years, and a member of the four-member Congress policy group appointed by Rajiv Gandhi. She has been Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Law,Justice and Personnel, and served on the panel of Vice Chairmen of the Rajya Sabha for five years. Jayanthi has represented India at the United Nations, at innumerable international parliamentary fora, in several countries, and at conferences on a wide range of subjects. Her espousal of equity and sustainable development in the Conference of Parties (COP), the apex international environment forum at Durban in 2011 won her a standing ovation from the international community. Her successful conduct and Chairmanship of the International Convention on Biological Diversity at Hyderabad in October 2012 (COP 11) firmly established her championship of sustainable development as well as her skills of negotiation both at the national and international level. Jayanthi continues with her political and gender activism, and her columns in national dailies. She is currently working on her first book.

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Jonathan Gil Harris Author

Jonathan Gil Harris is Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of English at Ashoka University. The author of the best-selling The First Firangis (2015), he is also President of Shakespeare Society of India and author of six books on Shakespeare and his contemporaries.  His articles on Shakespeare and Hindi cinema have been published in The Hindustan Times, The Hindu, and The Week. These form the basis of his book-in-progress, Masala Shakespeare, which considers the often unexpected convergences between Shakespeare’s drama and Indian story-telling, performance and entertainment traditions.

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Josy Joseph Author

Josy Joseph is the author of critically acclaimed A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India and the National Security Editor of The Hindu. He was elected India’s best political reporter of 2010 by the Prem Bhatia Trust and awarded Journalist of the Year (print media) in July 2013 by the Ramnath Goenka Foundation. His stories have fostered greater public debate and contributed to significant policy and systemic changes. His reporting has resulted in several high-profile officials being forced out of office, triggering the arrest of many others as well as federal criminal and military investigations. High-profile investigations included the Mumbai Adarsh Housing scam and the run-up to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Josy holds a Masters in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

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K Kalpana Author

K Kalpana is Assistant Professor at the Humanities and Social Sciences Department, IIT Madras. She has written extensively on gender, poverty, women’s labour and microcredit. She is the author of Women, Microfinance and the State in Neo-liberal India (Routledge, 2017). She has been an activist with people’s science movements and has organized women’s microcredit (Self Help Group) federations and ‘Right to Health’ campaigns that included public audits of rural primary health centers and women’s health status. She is currently an Executive Committee member of the Indian Association of Women’s Studies. She participates actively in Tamil feminist theatre as well as in workshops and campaigns for gender equality organized by women’s rights movements and NGOs.

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K Satchidanandan Author

K Satchidanandan is the author of over 50 books including 20 collections of poetry. He has collections of his poetry in translation in 20 languages including Arabic, English, Irish, Chinese, French, German and Italian. His complete poems in Malayalam (1965-2015) were published in May 2016 along with The Missing Rib, a collection of his poems from the same period translated into English. He has also authored several books of criticism in Malayalam and English besides collections of travelogues and interviews. He was a Professor of English; editor, Indian Literature; Secretary, Sahitya Akademi; and is now a National Fellow at IIAS, Shimla. He has won 37 awards for his literary contribution including national awards like the Sahitya Akademi, Kusumagraj, Gangadhar Meher, Kuvempu and NTR besides five Kerala Sahitya Akademi awards for different genres. He is a Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi and has received a Knighthood from the Government of Italy.

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K Srilata Poet, Writer

K Srilata, poet and fiction writer, is a Professor of English at IIT-Madras. She has been a writer-in-residence at the University of Stirling, at Sangam house and at the Yeonhui Art Space in Seoul. Srilata’s books include four poetry collections — Bookmarking the Oasis, Writing Octopus, Arriving Shortly and Seablue Child — a novel Table for Four, longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2009, two co-edited anthologies The Rapids of a Great River: The Penguin Book of Tamil Poetry and Short Fiction from South India, a translation of R Vatsala’s Tamil novel Once There Was A Girl and a translation of women’s writing from the Self-Respect movement The Other Half of the Coconut: Women Writing Self-Respect History.

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Kanhaiya Kumar Writer

Kanhaiya Kumar, an All India Student Federation (AISF) activist, was the president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union 2015-16. He is pursuing his PhD from the Centre for African Studies at the School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi. His memoir, From Bihar to Tihar (English) and Bihar se Tihar (Hindi), is published by Juggernaut Books.

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Kannan Sundaram Writer, Publisher

Kannan Sundaram (S R Sundaram) was the proprietor of Kalachuvadu Pathippagam from 1995 to 2010 and is presently the Managing Director and Publisher of Kalachuvadu Publication Pvt Ltd, besides being Editor and Publisher of Kalachuvadu, a monthly journal for culture and politics. He co-organised ‘Tamil In 2000’, a privately funded international Tamil conference on 20th century Tamil writing and was part of the international visitor programme to the U.S. in 2002 and of the Frankfurt Book Fair fellowship programme in 2007. Kannan is on a mission to get the best pieces of literature available in Tamil translated to other Indian and world languages and vice versa. He has published a few books containing his columns and critical articles on Tamil media and Politics.

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Karan Mahajan Author

Karan Mahajan was born in 1984 and grew up in New Delhi. He is the author of the novels Family Planning (2008), a finalist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, and The Association of Small Bombs (2016), a finalist for the 2016 National Book Awards and the winner of the 2017 Bard Prize. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker Online, The Believer, n+1, and other venues. He lives in Austin, Texas, where he is at work on his third novel.

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Karthika VK Editor

Karthika VK has worked in publishing in India for twenty years, first with Penguin Books India and then with HarperCollins Publishers India. In the course of her career, she has edited and published several writers including Aravind Adiga, Amruta Patil, Anita Nair, Anuja Chauhan, Hartosh Singh Bal, Josy Joseph, Karan Mahajan, Karthika Nair, Kiran Nagarkar, Manu Joseph, Manu Pillai, Nayantara Sahgal, Raghu Karnad, Rana Dasgupta, Rohini Mohan and Sarnath Banerjee.

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Katherine Boo Author, Pulitzer Prize winner

Katherine Boo’s deep nonfiction reporting from within poor communities has been honoured with a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and a MacArthur “genius” grant. Her first book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, documented the experiences of families in a Mumbai slum and the effects of systemic corruption on their lives. It won the National Book Award and has since been translated into 33 languages. The wife of writer and historian Sunil Khilnani, Boo is also a contributor to the New Yorker magazine, and divides her time between India and the US.

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Kiran Doshi Author, Educationist

Kiran Doshi, a retired diplomat and educationist, was born in Gujarat and educated in Mumbai. Jinnah Often Came to Our House is his third major work of fiction. His first novel, Birds of Passage, was set in the world of India-Pakistan-US relations and was published in 1999. This was followed, in 2009, by Diplomatic Tales, written in comic verse. He has written several short stories and books on teaching English and Maths. He is married to Razia, a doctor, and lives in Delhi now, where he spends his time reading, writing, meeting friends, playing golf, and watching films and cultural shows. 

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Kirti Jain Theatre Director, Writer

Kirti Jain, former Director of the National School of Drama, is a theatre director and pedagogue. She has contributed articles to theatre-related books and journals including entries in The Oxford Companion to Theatre; has produced plays and documentaries for Doordarshan. Kirti Jain has directed several plays over a career spanning nearly forty years. Her recent directorial work includes Aur Kitne Tukde about Partition; Kaun Thagwa Nagaria Lootal Ho on globalization; and Sab Kuch Chakachak, a play for young people about displacement; Baghdad Burning, which evolved from a blog on the American invasion of Iraq; and Hamara Shahar Us Baras about fall out of communal unrest. Her interest in education led her to initiate the Theatre in Education company at NSD. Her concern for developing theatre spaces and audience in Delhi led to the organisation of Week End Theatre through Natarang Pratishthan. She was honoured with the B V Karanth Smrirti Puraskar by NSD in 2010 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for Direction in 2011.

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Kishwar Desai Author, Columnist

Kishwar Desai is an author and columnist as well as the Chair of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust that is setting up the world’s first Partition Museum at the Town Hall, Amritsar. Her first novel Witness the Night featuring the intrepid Simran Singh, won the Costa First Novel award and was shortlisted for many others. Her novels primarily deal with social issues and her non fiction books explore the evolution of Indian cinema. She is currently completing a book on early Indian cinema.

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Kunal Basu Author

Kunal Basu is the author of critically acclaimed novels including The Opium Clerk, The Miniaturist, Racists, The Yellow Emperor’s Cure, and most recently Kalkatta. His work has been translated into several languages and nominated for prestigious awards.  The lead story of his collection of stories, The Japanese Wife, has been made into an award-winning film. He has written screenplays, poetry and monographs on photography and traditional crafts. Kunal Basu has acted on stage and on screen.  Born in Kolkata and educated in India and the United States, he teaches in Oxford University and lives in Oxford and Kolkata.

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Laura Kroetsch Writer, Editor

Laura Kroetsch was appointed Director of Adelaide Writers’ Week in 2011. In 2012 she introduced the highly successful Kids’ Day, now the Kids’ Weekend. In 2014 she introduced out-of-season programming, and in 2015 the event will again undergo a new design. Adelaide Writers’ Week 2017 is her sixth consecutive programme. Laura came to Adelaide from the New Zealand International Arts Festival where she ran their celebrated literary festival Writers & Readers. Laura has spent 20 years working in the world of books and literature. She has worked as a bookseller, a freelance writer and editor, a critic and book reviewer.  Laura is an advocate for writers and readers and works with various literary and community groups to build arts access and develop readership for emerging writers.

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Malavika Sarukkai Dancer

Malavika Sarukkai is a dancer-choreographer whose work is distinguished by its Intense, extraordinary and luminous qualities. She is acclaimed globally for her creative choreographies, which take dance beyond specific geographies. As a passionate path-breaking dancer from India, she has contributed a significant and large body of work through multiple collaborations. These interactions bring to her choreographic interpretations the incandescent beauty of the classical language and the energised articulation of a contemporary mind. This approach has been documented in the personal and searching film The Unseen Sequence directed by Sumantra Ghosal. She has received many accolades including the Padma Shri, The Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Natya Kala Acharya award from the Music Academy, Chennai.

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Manjula Padmanabhan Author, Playwright, India’s first woman cartoonist

Manjula Padmanabhan (b. 1953), is a fiction writer, artist, playwright and India’s first woman cartoonist. In 1997, her play Harvest won first prize in the Onassis Prize for Theater, in Greece. She has written and illustrated a number of books, including two cartoon albums. Her two most recent novels are Escape and its sequel, The Island of Lost Girls. Her cartoon strip Sukiyaki appears once a week in Business Line, the Chennai-based financial newspaper, and for which she also writes “Here, There & Elsewhere” a weekly Saturday column, about her life in the fictional town of Elsewhere, in the US.

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María Reimóndez Translator, Writer

María Reimóndez is a Galician translator, interpreter, writer and activist. She has published poetry collections such as Moda Galega (Galician Fashion, 2002) and Presente Continuo (Present Continuous, 2013); novels for both adults and children such as O club da calceta (The Knitting Club, 2006, translated into Italian, Spanish and French, with a theatre adaptation by Teatro do Morcego and a film version produced by Ficción Producciones), En vías de extinción (Endangered Species, 2014, translated into Spanish), A música dos seres vivos (The Music of Living Beings, 2015) and essays. She has received several prestigious awards in Galicia including the Xerais novel award for Dende o conflito (Conflict Zones, 2014), the Plácido Castro award for translation and the Award for Author of the Year by the Galician Publishers Association in 2014. She has a long connection to Tamil Nadu and has translated authors such as Salma, Kutti Revathi, Malathi Maitri, Sukirtharani and Thamizhachi into Galician.

 

Maria’s participation is organised in association with Literature Across Frontiers as part of the Literary Europe Live in India programme with support from the Creative Europe programme of the European Union and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) 

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Mark Kurlansky Journalist, Author

Mark Kurlansky is an American journalist and author. From 1976 to 1991, he worked as foreign correspondent for The International Herald Tribune, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer and his articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines, including The Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, Partisan Review, Harper’s, New York Times Sunday Magazine, Audubon Magazine, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Apetit and Parade. He has authored 29 books including fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books. his books have been translated into 25 languages and he often illustrates them himself. Cod, Salt, 1968, and Food of a Younger Land have all featured on international best-seller lists. He has guest lectured at Columbia University School of Journalism, Yale University, Colby College, Grinnell College, the University of Dayton; taught a two-week creative writing class in Assisi, Italy, a one-week intensive non-fiction workshop in Devon, England for and guest lectured all over the world on history, writing, environmental issues, and other subjects.  

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Markus Zusak Author

Markus Zusak is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief, which has been translated into more than 40 languages. His first four novels — The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, When Dogs Cry (also known as Getting the Girl) and I am the Messenger released between 1999 and 2002 — were published internationally and garnered a number of awards and honours in his native Australia and throughout the world. The Book Thief was released in 2005 and has become one of the most successful books to come out of Australia. It has been a bestseller on every continent, has held the number one position at both Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and has spent more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list. In 2013, it was adapted into film, directed by Brian Percival and starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson and Sophie Nelisse. Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.

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MM Murugappan Member of the Board, Murugappa Group

MM Murugappan is the Vice Chairman of the Corporate and Supervisory Board of the Murugappa Group. As a Member of the Board he chairs the Investment Committee and oversees Technology and Research across the Murugappa Group.  In addition he is the Chairman of businesses falling under the Engineering sector i.e. Tube Investments of India (TII), and Carborundum Universal (CUMI), of the Murugappa Group.  He is on the board of several companies outside the Murugappa Group such as Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (Mumbai) and Cyient Ltd. (Hyderabad). He served on the Board of Governors of IIT Madras, for six years till November 2011 and has enabled many industry-academic partnerships.  He now serves on the board of the IIT-Madras Research Park and is a mentor to many companies incubated there. As Trustee of the Group’s AMM Foundation, he is actively involved in the development of various citizenship initiatives, particularly in education, health care, performing arts and sport. Murugappan’s hobbies include golf, reading, walking, classical music and the theatre.

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Molly Crabapple Author, Journalist

Molly Crabapple is an artist, journalist, and author of the memoir, Drawing Blood. Called “An emblem of the way art can break out of the gilded gallery” by the New Republic, she has drawn in and reported from Guantanamo Bay, Abu Dhabi’s migrant labour camps, and in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank, and Iraqi Kurdistan. Crabapple is a contributing editor for VICE, and has written for publications including The New York Times, Paris Review, and Vanity Fair. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

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Monica De La Fuente Dancer, Choreographer

Monica De La Fuente is a dancer, choreographer and specialist in Indian performing arts. She has devoted herself for the last 20 years to the creation and dissemination of the classical and contemporary dances of India. Trained in in Bharatanatyam and Kathakali from Kalakshetra (Chennai) and Kalamandalam and Margi (Kerala), she founded her own dance theatre company in Spain and has performed at numerous festivals and theatres in India, Europe, and the US. Her contemporary dance choreography includes Laya Chitra (2008) and La voz del cuerpo (2013) with musician Ravi Prasad, operatic productions like Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers and Puccini’s Edgar and Indo-Flamenco creations like Indalusia with renowned flamenco-jazz musician Jorge Pardo and Rasa-Duende (2015). She has been the artistic coordinator and choreographer for Carlos Saura’s show Flamenco, India and associate director of Kijote Kathakali a theatre production directed by Ignacio Garcia. She teaches Indian performing arts at Casa de la India in Valladolid and has been a guest teacher at various theatre schools and universities of Spain, France and Germany.

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Mukund Padmanabhan Editor, The Hindu

Mukund Padmanabhan is the Editor of The Hindu. Earlier Editor of The Hindu Businessline, Mukund is an MPhil in Philosophy and worked briefly as a lecturer in University of Delhi before switching to journalism. He worked for the magazine Sunday in Kolkata and the Indian Expressbefore joining The Hindu in 1997. He is interested  in and has written about politics, legal affairs, and literature. He is an adjunct faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines, where he teaches law and advanced writing to post-graduate students. He curates two festivals of theatre and music — The Hindu Theatre Fest, and The Hindu November Fest — on behalf his newspaper group.

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N Manu Chakravarthy Author, Professor

N Manu Chakravarthy teaches Critical Theory, Post-Colonial Theory and Film Theory to post-graduate students at the National College Basavanagudi, Bengaluru. He was earlier Professor and Head of the Department of English at NMKRV College, Bangalore. During the last three decades, he has taught Literary Criticism, Literary Theory, Cultural Theory and Theories of Communication to graduate and postgraduate students. He was awarded the Swarna Kamal, the President’s Gold Medal, for Best National Critic at the 58th National Film Awards in 2010. He also won the VM Inamdar award for his book Madhyama Marga on literature and culture. He writes extensively on cinema, music, literature and culture and has several books in English and Kannada to his credit. His book on cultural theory was awarded the Karnataka State Sahitya.

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N Ravi Director, Kasturi & Sons Ltd

N Ravi is a Director of Kasturi & Sons Ltd. He is the Chairman of the India Chapter of the International Press Institute and member of the Executive Board of the International Press Institute, Vienna. He was President of the Editors’ Guild of India, Chairman of the Press Trust of India, India’s premier news agency and is now a Director on the Board of PTI. He was a member of the National Integration Council, Government of India, and from 2006 to 2008 of the National Security Advisory Board. He has a Master’s degree in economics and a degree in law, and has won several academic awards including a gold medal in constitutional and international law. He was a Fellow at the Harvard Law School in 2000 and Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in 2004. In 2013, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University. He joined The Hindu in 1972, served as reporter, leader writer, Washington Correspondent, Deputy Editor and Associate Editor. He was Editor from 1991 to 2011 and Editor-in-Chief from October 2013 to January 2015. He has covered several international conferences and travelled with Prime Ministers and Presidents to cover international summits. His special areas of interest and writing include constitutional and political issues, economic policy, international economy, free speech and human rights, and India–U.S. relations. He is the recipient of several professional awards, including the G. K. Reddy Memorial Award and BREAD Role Model Award, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati.

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N Ram Chairman, Kasturi & Sons Ltd

N Ram, Chairman of Kasturi & Sons Ltd, Publisher of The Hindu and Group Newspapers, and former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu and Group Newspapers, is a political journalist. He has written on a range of socio-political subjects and specialised in investigative journalism. Along with Susan Ram, he has written a biography of the Indian writer, R.K. Narayan. Ram was elected president of the Contemporary India Section of the 72nd session of the Indian History Congress (2011). Honours include the Padma Bhushan (for journalism), 1990; the Asian Investigative Journalist of the Year Award from the Press Foundation of Asia (1990); the B.D. Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism (1989); and a Columbia J-School Alumni Award (2003).

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Naazneen Karmali Writer, India Editor – Forbes Asia

Naazneen Karmali is India Editor of Forbes Asia and Mumbai Bureau Manager, Forbes. Currently, her responsibilities extend to parts of Southeast Asia as well. Naazneen has been writing and reporting on India’s entrepreneurs since 1981. She began her career as a reporter at Business India and rose through the ranks to become managing editor. Naazneen is also a founding director of the Satyagyan ;Foundation, a non-profit that is committed to an integrated approach to education, livelihoods and community development for the underprivileged. She is a member of the Sustainability Advisory Council of Deutsche Post-DHL and has also been a Fellow of the Asia Society, New York. She has co-authored The Hit Parade, which profiles India’s business tycoons.

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Nandini Krishnan Journalist, Writer

Nandini Krishnan is a writer and journalist based in Madras. Her first book, Hitched: The Modern Woman and Arranged Marriage, was published in 2013. An extract from her novel-in-progress was one of the five winners of the Caravan and Writers of India Festival contest, and she read from it at the World Writers’ Festival 2014 in Several of Nandini’s plays have been long-listed and shortlisted for The Hindu Metro Plus Playwright Award. She was among 14 playwrights chosen to attend Writers’ Bloc 4, a theatre workshop conducted by Royal Court Theatre, London, in partnership with Rage Theatre, Mumbai. Nandini is currently working on two novels, several plays and screenplays, and spends most of the day keeping her eight dogs from eating her manuscripts. She does stand-up comedy on occasion.

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Nandini Oomman Founding Curator, The Women’s Storytelling Salon

Nandini Oomman is a Founding Curator of The Women’s Storytelling Salon™. She is fascinated by the art and science of storytelling even when she is being a global health and development specialist or a policy wonk in Washington, DC and around the world.  She has more than 20 years of public health research, programme and policy experience. Before she discovered the joys of creative self- employment and entrepreneurship she worked at the Center for Global Development (CGD), and at The World Bank in Washington, DC influencing the role of big development donors in global health. Earlier jobs at the Rockefeller Foundation and at an HIV/AIDS prevention organization in India, as well as consulting assignments with the Packard Foundation created a life long passion to improve women’s health and development around the world. Nandini has a BSc in Biochemistry from McGill University, and a PhD from the Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has published widely in academic journals, and has served on Boards of several non-profits in health and education.

 

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Narayan Lakshman Senior Deputy Editor, The Hindu

Narayan Lakshman is a Senior Deputy Editor at The Hindu. He was the newspaper’s U.S. correspondent from February 2010 to November 2016 and wrote on a wide range of subjects, from strategic issues in Indo-U.S. politics to healthcare reform and the immigration controversies. He has a B.A. in economics from St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi, an M.A. in economics from Cambridge University, and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. He now writes for the editorial and opinion pages on critical issues in foreign policy relating to the U.S., and curates other editorial projects such as article series on India’s water and healthcare crises. Before leaving for the U.S., Narayan worked in The Hindu’s Tamil Nadu bureau, where he wrote about rural poverty and development. Additionally, as an editorial writer, he wrote numerous opinion pieces on American presidential and congressional politics. Prior to joining The Hindu, Narayan pursued doctoral research at the London School of Economics on the politics of poverty alleviation in India. After completing his PhD in 2006, he worked as a research analyst with a hedge fund in London. His research findings have been synthesised into a book titled Patrons of the Poor: Caste Politics and Policymaking in India, published by Oxford University Press (India) in March 2011.

 

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Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz Writer

Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz is a junior at Harvard University studying molecular biology. He is an opinion writer at The Harvard Crimson and a contributing author for Town & Country Magazine.

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P Athiyaman Author, Editor

P Athiyaman, a PhD in Tamil, is presently assistant director with the All India Radio. A specialist in the history of modern Tamil literature, he has published biographies and histories of little-known personalities and events. Athiyaman has written extensively in Tamil, and his publications include biographies of George Joseph and P. Varadarajulu Naidu. The author of a definitive history of the Cheranmadevi Gurukulum controversy and is now completing a manuscript on the Vaikom Satyagraha. He has also edited the poems of Bharati for new readers.

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P Chidambaram Former Union Minister, Member of Indian National Congress, Lawyer

Chidambaram is a former Union Minister of Finance and has also served as the Union Minister for Home in the Government of India. He is an eminent lawyer practicing in the Supreme Court, India’s highest court. A public intellectual and author, his first collection of essays was published in 2006 under the title A View from the Outside: Why Good Economics Works for Everyone. He writes a weekly column on the economy, politics, social issues, foreign policy and contemporary affairs. He is a member of the Indian National Congress, the country’s oldest political party, and was elected to Parliament seven times from the Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu.His latest book is Standing Guard: A Year in the Opposition.

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Pankaja Srinivasan Journalist

Pankaja Srinivasan has been a journalist for thirty years. Educated in Kolkata and Delhi, she began her career in Star & Style, in Mumbai, in the 1980s. She has been with The Hindu for eleven years and is currently Senior Deputy Editor heading the MetroPlus edition in Coimbatore. She has travelled the length and breadth of the country accompanying her husband who was a helicopter pilot in the Indian Air Force. She enjoys food, travelling, Hindi film music and writing about all three.

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Parvathi Nayar Visual artist

Parvathi Nayar, a Chennai-based contemporary visual artist, is best known for her videos, installations and complex drawing practices. Parvathi received her Masters in Fine Art from Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London, on a Chevening scholarship. Her solos include Dissonant Images: Drawing in Time, (2016, New Delhi), The Ambiguity of Landscapes (2014, Chennai), I sing the body electric (2008, Mumbai), Win Lose Draw (2007, Singapore) and Drawing is a Verb (Singapore, 2006). Her installations in public spaces include Reflecting (on) The Inhabited Crossroads as part of TheHashtag#Collective (Kochi, 2016/17), The Music of the Spheres (Chennai Mathematical Institute, 2016), the seminal 20-foot high A Story of Flight, T2 Terminal, Mumbai international airport, and The Fluidity of Horizons, an installation of drawings and sound, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014/15. She was one of 70 artists selected to be part of B70, the historical 70th anniversary birthday show of Amitabh Bachchan in Mumbai. As a creative writer, poet and cultural commentator, Parvathi has also written on aspects of contemporary arts such as modern dance, theatre and film. She has been involved in the literary scene as speaker, panelist and moderator; she was a speaker at TEDxChennai 2016. She is the subject of the film “Artists of Chennai: Parvathi Nayar” by Saravana Kumar.

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Paul Zacharia Writer

Paul Zacharia writes in Malayalam and English. He has published over fifty books which include short stories, novellas, travelogues, film-scripts, essays on politics, literature and culture and children’s literature. His fiction has been translated into various Indian languages as also to English, German and French. Literary awards he has received include the Kendra Sahitya Akademi , Kerala Sahitya Akademi (twice), Odakkuzhal, Muttathu Varki He is a Distinguished Fellow of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi. He lives in Thiruvananthapuram.

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Perumal Murugan Author, Poet

Perumal Murugan is a contemporary Tamil author and poet from Thiruchengode, Tamil Nadu. He has published anthologies of poems, short stories, novels and essays. Three of his novels have been translated into English — Koola Madari (Seasons of the Palm, which shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize in 2005), Nizhal Mutram (Current Show) and Madhorubhagan (One Part Woman).  Nizhal Mutram was also translated into Polish. Murugan has received several awards for his writings, including from the government of Tamil Nadu, Katha books, the Vilakku Prize in 2012 and the Kasturi Srinivasan Trust award in 2013. In January 2015, he announced he was giving up writing when his novel Madhorubagan was attacked for defaming a community. In July 2016, the Madras High Court ruled in his favour and he has resumed his writing career.

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Perumpadavam Sreedharan Author

Perumpadavam Sreedharan is a household name in Kerala. Novelist, short story writer and author of over 60 books, he is also an award-winning script writer. His celebrated novel, Oru Samkeertanam Pole (Like a Psalm), depicting the 21 days of budding love between Fyodor Dostoevsky and Anna Snitkina, is a bestseller currently in its 75th He is a recipient of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award, the Vayalar award and many other prestigious honours. Till recently he was President of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi.  He lives in Thiruvananthapuram.

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Pradeep Chakravarthy Author

Pradeep Chakravarthy graduated from JNU and LSE. For the last 20+ years, he has worked in HR at TVS, Cognizant , Infosys and McKinsey &Co. Pradeep has always been passionate about Tamil Nadu’s history and heritage and pioneered and curated two-day tours to different districts to explore local culture, cuisine and art and architecture. He also writes for The Hindu and other newspapers on the pre-colonial history of Madras and Tamil Nadu. He explores the complex interconnections between art, architecture, economics, politics and geography in his writing and conversations. He has authored six books and has a few more in print. He brings learnings from history into his work as a leadership development expert and coach.

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Pralayan Shanmugasundaram Chandrasekaran Playwright, Founder of Chennai Kalai Kuzhu

Pralayan Shanmugasundaram Chandrasekaran, better known as Pralayan, is one of the pioneering theatre personalities who are spearheading the modern theatre movement with the major emphasis towards the open-air theatre performances in Tamil Nadu. As the founder and convener of Chennai Kalai Kuzhu, he has been active in the Tamil Nadu theatre scene from 1984. He has written, facilitated and directed more than 50 open-air plays and 23 proscenium plays including Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince, Bertolt Brecht’s Galileo, Habib Tanvir’s Moteram ka Satyagragh, Charandas Chor, Chandrashekhara Kambara’s Mahamayi, Haruki Murakami’s The Elephant Vanishes, Na.Muthusamy’s England. Pralayan’s works and presentations are known for their dynamic engagement with the space and its design and vibrant music. He has also conducted workshops and directed the plays across India and in countries like Norway, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.

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Preeti Shenoy Author

Preeti Shenoy is among the top five highest selling authors in India. Her books include It’s All In The Planets, Why We Love The Way We Do, The Secret Wish List, The One You Cannot Have among others. She is also on the Forbes long list of the most influential celebrities in India. She has been awarded the Academia award for Business Excellence by the New Delhi Institute of Management. She received the ‘100 Young Indian Women Achievers Award’ in the Powerful leader category. She has given talks in institutions such as the IITs and IIMs and corporate organisations like KPMG, Infosys and Accenture. She is also an artist specialising in portraiture and illustrated journalling. She has a popular blog and also writes a weekly column in The Financial Chronicle. She has a huge online following. Her other interests are travel, photography and Ashtanga yoga.

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Prema Revathi Writer, Actor

Prema Revathi is a writer, actor and activist who runs a school for nomadic tribal children at a village in coastal Tamil Nadu. She was a full-time journalist and continues to write articles in English and Tamil. She is also a translator and is working on non-fiction translations from English to Tamil. Along with Krishna Veni, she began Maitri, a feminist publishing house that aims to bring out memoirs of women, books introducing feminist philosophies and literary anthologies on feminist themes. Lakshmi Ennum Payani, a memoir by a woman activist from a small town in Tamil Nadu, is Maitri’s first Book.

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Prince Rama Varma Musician, Writer

Prince Rama Varma is a singer, veena player, writer, orator, linguist, guru and social reformer, who has learned music from a host of luminaries, including Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna for 18 years. Rather unusually for a classical musician, he learns the word-by-word meanings of the songs that he sings, whether it is in Telugu, Kannada, Sanskrit, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi or another language and explains the meaning to his listeners. His YouTube channel musiquebox has gathered more than six million views.

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RV Ramani Documentary Filmmaker & Cinematographer

RV Ramani is a leading documentary filmmaker and cinematographer. He is a graduate of the Film and TV Institute of India, Pune, specialising in cinematography. With more than 25 independent films to his credit, he has established a unique style of his own, making self-reflective impressionistic documentaries, which has found recognition in India and abroad.

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Raghu Karnad Writer

Raghu Karnad is an award-winning journalist and the author of Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War. He has written for Granta, the International New York Times, Financial Times, n+1 and Caravan, and is a contributing editor at thewire.in.

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Rahman Abbas Author

Rahman Abbas is author of six books including four novels — Nakhalistan Ki Talash (The Search of an Oasis, 2004), Ek Mamnua Muhabbat Ki Kahani (A Forbidden Love Story, 2009), Khuda Ke Saaye Mein Ankh Micholi (Hide and Seek in the Shadow of God, 2011), Rohzin (The Melancholy of Soul, 2016]. He received the State Sahitya Academy Award for Hide and Seek in the Shadow of God, which he returned when Indian writers protested against ‘intolerance’ in 2015. Rahman was awarded the Universal Center for Peace and Research’s National Award for his A Forbidden Love Story. His novels deal with themes of forbidden politics and love. He works at Strategic Foresight Group, as South Asia Security Research Officer and lives in Mumbai.

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Rajiv C Lochan MD & CEO, The Hindu Group of Publications

Rajiv C Lochan is the Managing Director and CEO of Kasturi and Sons Ltd., publishers of The Hindu and Group publications. Prior to KSL, Rajiv was a Partner with McKinsey & Company and co-founded their Chennai practice. He’s active in the social sector‎ in the areas of public health (Trustee of IKP Trust) and financial inclusion (Independent Director of IFMR Holdings). He sits on the Board of Governor of the Institute for Financial Management and Research and on the Board of Sundaram Finance Ltd as an Independent Director. Rajiv holds a B Tech from IIT Madras, an MS from MIT and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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Ravinder Singh Author

Ravinder Singh is a bestselling author, who has written five books and compiled two crowd-sourced anthologies. Considered the king of romance in Indian publishing, Ravinder is well known for his love stories. After having spent most of his life in Burla, a small town in western Odisha, he is currently based in Gurgaon. He has an MBA from the Indian School of Business (Hyderabad). In his eight-year IT career, he worked with companies like Infosys and Microsoft. He has also started a publishing venture called Black Ink, where he publishes debut authors.

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Rekha Menon TV anchor, Columnist

Rekha Menon is a well-known face in Kerala television media. She has more than 15 years of experience in anchoring TV shows and is a columnist and a speaker at various forums and platforms in South India. In her other life, she is a Marketing and Communications professional with over 20 years of experience in the IT Services and Entertainment sectors. Currently she is the Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications for a US-based investment bank and is based in Chennai. Some of her prestigious awards include being on India Today’s list of Top 25 Women Achievers in Kerala, Most talented Marketing Professional by World Marketing Congress, Best Anchor Award for Women’s Shows by Asia Vision Awards, Middle East. She was also visiting scholar at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

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Rishi Kapoor Actor

Rishi Kapoor is one of India’s most popular film stars. He debuted as a child artiste in his father Raj Kapoor’s magnum opus Mera Naam Joker, winning a National Award for his performance. His first role in the lead came with Bobby, a blockbuster that established a new template for the teeny-bopper romance in Hindi cinema. In the 1970s, a decade known for Amitabh Bachchan’s angry young man films, Rishi Kapoor not only held his own but also carved a niche for himself in a series of musical hits like Khel Khel Mein, Laila Majnu, Hum Kisise Kum Naheen, Sargam and Karz. He was also the perfect foil to Bachchan in some of the most celebrated hits of the era like Kabhi Kabhie, Amar Akbar Anthony, Naseeb and Coolie. Over the last decade, Rishi Kapoor has delivered some of the finest performances of his career in a diverse array of roles — a middle-class school teacher in Do Dooni Char, a dreaded don in D-Day, a pimp in Agneepath and a naughty grand old patriarch in Kapoor & Sons — far removed from the chocolate-boy romantic hero of the 1970s.

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Ritu Beri Designer, Writer

Ritu Beri is one of the few designers to have blurred the lines between the East and the West. She was the first Asian to head a French fashion house, Jean Louis Scherrer. She trained under the legendary Francoise Lesage and wowed Paris with her collections. She has been recognised for her work in design with several awards and honours, including the coveted Chevaliere des art et des letters and the Spanish title of “The Lady of the Order of Civil Merit.” Taking her engagement with design beyond clothes, she initiated Ritu Beri Fashion Fraternity to hand-hold aspiring designers and to launch them on creative career paths. She has written five books so far. The latest two trace “the journey of a restless mind” through the world of design. The long list of celebrities who have sported her label includes Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, Nicole Kidman, Ivana Trump, Madhuri Dixit and Katrina Kaif.

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Rosella Stephen Editor, Melange, a magazine at The Hindu

Rosella Stephen is the editor of Melange, Saturday magazine at The Hindu. Prior to this, she was editor at Indulge (The New Indian Express), a lifestyle magazine she conceptualised and launched in 2006. She was actively involved in creating Edex, the national educational supplement with TNIE. She has served on multiple panels on art appreciation, luxury, fashion journalism and leadership at various organisations, including The British Council, The Madras Management Association and IndiEarth Xchange, an annual trade event for independent music, film and media. As a fashion commentator, she has identified and encouraged emerging designers and stylists, and has curated best-dressed lists for leading magazines. In addition to ecological and economic shifts, she believes the answer to our ever-changing urban landscape lies in its innovators, entrepreneurs, catalysts and creative minds.

 

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Rumena Bužarovska Author, Translator

Rumena Bužarovska is the author of three short story collections – Čkrtki (Scribbles, 2007), Osmica (2010) and Mojot maž (My Husband, 2014). She is a literary translator from English into Macedonian and her translations include Lewis Carroll (Through the Looking Glass), J.M. Coetzee (The Life and Times of Michael K), Truman Capote (In Cold Blood) and Richard Gwyn (The Colour of a Dog Running Away). She is Assistant Professor of American Literature at the State University of Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia. Rumena Bužarovska is one of 10 New Voices from Europe 2016, selected by Literary Europe Live.

 

Rumena’s participation is organised in association with Literature Across Frontiers as part of the Literary Europe Live in India programme with support from the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

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Sadanand Menon Columnist, Photographer

Sadanand Menon explores the charged space linking politics and culture through his work in media, pedagogy and the arts. He is Adjunct Faculty at Asian College of Journalism, Chennai; at IIT-Madras; and at Presidency University, Kolkata. He has been an arts editor, columnist and photographer. A long time collaborator with the late writer/dancer/choreographer Chandralekha, he is also a leading stage lights designer. A long time collaborator with the late artist/photographer/designer Dashrath Patel, he curated the definitive retrospective exhibition of his work for the NGMA Delhi & Mumbai in 1998/99. He has been on the Advisory/Executive Committees of the National Museum, National Gallery of Modern Art, Lalit Kala Akademi, National School of Drama, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, the Board for Intangible Cultural Heritage, Raza Foundation, Delhi and Dakshinchitra, Chennai. Along with Romila Thapar and A.G.Noorani, he has contributed an essay to the book ‘On Nationalism’ (Aleph, 2016). He is managing trustee of the Arts Foundation, SPACES, Chennai.

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Saeed Naqvi Reporter, Foreign Correspondent

Saeed Naqvi has been a reporter and foreign correspondent for over four decades. He has travelled the length and breadth of India (except Odisha, he insists) and over a hundred countries in pursuit of stories. He has covered many wars including India’s 1971 war with Pakistan, the civil war in Sri Lanka, 1971; the Sino-Vietnam war, 1979; the US bombing of Libya, 1986; the first coup in Fiji, 1987; the Nicaragua war, 1989; Operation Desert Storm, 1991; the US occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, 2003; and the Syrian civil war, 2011. Besides Indian leaders, Naqvi has interviewed world statesmen like Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Muammar Gaddafi, Henry Kissinger, Benazir Bhutto, Hamid Karzai, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, J.R. Jayewardene, Hashemi Rafsanjani and scores of others. His writing has appeared in several national and international publications, including BBC News, the Sunday Observer, Sunday Times,Guardian, Washington Post, Indian Express, Citizen and Outlook

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Salil Tripathi Author

Salil Tripathi was born in Bombay and lives in London, where he chairs PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee. He studied at the New Era School, Bombay and later at Sydenham College. He has an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College, the U.S. He is a contributing editor at Mint and Caravan. His books include Offence: The Hindu Case (2009); The Colonel Who Would Not Repent (2014 and Yale 2016); and Detours: Songs of the Open Road (2015). He is working on a book about the Gujaratis. He has received the Red Ink Award from the Mumbai Press Club for human rights journalism in 2015, the third prize at the Bastiat Awards in New York in 2011, and a Citibank Pan Asia Journalism Award for economic journalism in Hong Kong in 1994. He was a correspondent for India Today in the 1980s and Far Eastern Economic Review in Singapore in the 1990s.

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Sandhya Rao Writer, Editorial Consultant, The Hindu BusinessLine

Sandhya Rao has worked in the media for many years, as a print journalist, books editor and children’s books writer, and also helped dancer Chandralekha coordinate an exhibition called ‘Stree’ as part of the Festival of India in Moscow, 1988. She has written about 25 books — mostly picture books — in English and Hindi, and her books have been translated into several Indian languages. Some well-known titles are Ekki Dokki, Storm in the Garden, Grandma’s Eyes, My Friend the Sea, My Mother’s Sari, Picture Gandhi and My Gandhi Scrapbook. Her latest books are Stories on the Sand and Okaasama Otousama. In 2006, she was one of only two children’s authors from India to be invited to the Frankfurt Bookfair. Her book, My Friend the Sea, received a prize at the Berlin Literary Festival in 2005. She is now an Editorial Consultant with The Hindu BusinessLine in Chennai.

 

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Sanjaya Baru Political Analyst

Sanjaya Baru is Honorary Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi; and Consulting Fellow for India, International Institute for Strategic Studies, London. He was Media Advisor to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (2004-08). He has been Editorial Page Editor, Times of India; Editor, Economic Times; Chief Editor, Financial Expressand Business Standard. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and has taught at University of Hyderabad and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. He was a member of the National Security Advisory Board of India (1999-2001). His publications include Strategic Consequences of India’s Economic Performance; The Accidental Prime Minister: Making and Unmaking of Manmohan Singh; India and the World: Essays on Geo-economics & Foreign Policy; and 1991: How P.V. Narasimha Rao Made History.

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Sarah Todd Restaurateur, Winner of MasterChef Australia

Sarah Todd entered the world of modelling at the age of 18 and, for a decade, worked for labels such as Gucci, Hugo Boss, Pantene and Seafolly. Her travels led her to discover a love for food culture. Sarah trained in classical French cookery from Le Cordon Bleu and worked with Michelin star chefs Neil Borthwick and Angela Hartnett at Merchant’s Tavern in London, hatted restaurants Tonka and St. Crispin in Australia and was pinned as the favourite to win MasterChef Australia season 6. She opened Antares, a casual fine dining restaurant and beach club on Small Vagator Beach, Goa, and collaborates with India’s ethical and sustainable growers to source organic and pesticide-free produce. Sarah’s vision is to deliver contemporary, inspiring and seasonal cuisine that’s accessible and affordable. She has also filmed two television series: A Long Way for Dinner showing her journey from model to restaurant owner and Serve It Like Sarah in which she travels and cooks her way around Goa tasting local delicacies, elephant rides to health retreats. She published her first cookbook The Healthy Model Cookbook in May 2016.

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Sashi Kumar Print and Broadcast Journalist

Sashi Kumar is a print and broadcast journalist, filmmaker and media entrepreneur. He founded and chairs the Media Development Foundation, which administers the Asian College of Journalism. He was among the earliest newscasters in English on Doordarshan, the West Asia correspondent of The Hindu and news anchor on Radio Bahrain in the mid-1980s. He has anchored and produced numerous shows, documentaries and features for national television in India. In 1992 he founded and launched Asianet, India’s first satellite TV channel in a regional language (Malayalam), and the country’s first statewide cable TV network in Kerala. In 2004 he scripted and directed Kaya Taran, an award-winning Hindi feature film based on the 1984 anti- Sikh riots and the 2002 Gujarat riots. He has acted in a few Malayalam feature films. He writes a regular fortnightly column, ‘Unmediated’, in Frontline. It is also the title of the book comprising his essays and articles published in 2013. He has received many awards for his work in journalism and films.

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ScienceUtsav Edu-tainment programme

ScienceUtsav is a creative parallel education programme that promotes Edu-tainment for children between five and 14 years. Children are encouraged to ask questions about science through interactive and innovative programmes with hands-on activities, science experiments and games, fun projects, puzzles and expeditions. The process of finding answers is both practical and thought provoking. ScienceUtsav’s main mission is to kindle reasoning and logical thinking among kids. Supreetha Juliet Gonsalves, an entrepreneur and educator, has been an integral part of ScienceUtsav for the past year.

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Senthil Kumaran Dancer, Choreographer

Senthil Kumaran is a choreographer who runs fitness-related regimes. He represented India in an International Modern Dance Competition as a choreographer and his team clinched the runner-up title. “S” community, which was born out of these endeavours, encompassed a group of performers, choreographers, instructors and, most importantly, learners.

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Shafey Kidwai Writer, Critic, Translator

Shafey Kidwai, a well-known bilingual critic, translator and reviewer, has been teaching Mass Communication at Aligarh Muslim University for 30 years. He has published more than a dozen books including Urdu Literature and Journalism: Critical Perspectives and Fiction Studies: A Post-Modern Reading. He writes regularly on literary theories, culture and media for a number of English and Urdu periodicals and newspapers including The Hindu Friday Review. He has been on the editorial board of several peer-reviewed journals including Global Media published by Purdue University, US, and Calcutta University. He has translated many books from English into Urdu. He is a member of General Council of the Sahitya Akademi and National Council of Promotion of Urdu, Ministry of HRD. Presently he also serves as the Convener of the Urdu Committee, Bhartiya Jnanpith.

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Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri Executive Editor, HarperCollins India

Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri is Executive Editor at HarperCollins Publishers India. He has commissioned and published a number of award-winning and best-selling books on cinema and music and has worked with leading Indian authors like Gulzar, Kiran Nagarkar, Anita Nair, Manu Joseph, among others. He is also the author of Whims, a book of poems published by Writers Workshop, Kolkata, and Icons from Bollywood, published by Penguin Books India.

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Sharan Apparao Of Apparao Galleries

Sharan Apparao currently runs Apparao Galleries in Delhi and Chennai and is a respected name in the world of contemporary art in India. She has worked with art since 1983 and has promoted artists known and unknown. She raised funds to make a film for Jehangir Sabavala, which won three national awards. She started her gallery in the early 1980s when barely out of college and studied writing on the arts at Harvard and global luxury management from IIM-Ahmedabad and Essec Paris. She also spent time in her formative years as an intern at the Smithsonian, Washington DC and Christies Contemporary Art, a subsidiary of Christies, London. She has curated several exhibitions and built an important and substantial collection of contemporary Indian art. She volunteered in craft projects and turned her love for textiles into The Yarn Club to learn about textiles. As a curator with an eye for aesthetics and over 30 years of experience in creating art exhibitions, she has the ability to translate ideas with a flair and intelligence that produce dramatic results. NAYAAB is a project close to her heart to share the deep passion she has for textiles.

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Shashi Tharoor Author

Shashi Tharoor (Dr) is the bestselling author of 15 books, both fiction and non-fiction, and a noted critic and columnist, a former Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and a former Minister of State for Human Resource Development and Minister of State for External Affairs in the Government of India. Dr. Tharoor’s books include the path-breaking satire The Great Indian Novel (1989), the classic India: From Midnight to the Millennium (1997) and the visionary Pax Indica: India and the World of the 21st Century (2012) and India Shastra (2015). He has won numerous literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

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Shiny Jacob Benjamin Documentary Producer, Director, Writer

Shiny Jacob Benjamin is an award-winning documentary producer and director from Kerala. She has also worked with Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi as feature writer. Her films include Murivunangatha Balyangal, Namukkum Avarkkum Idayil, Avan, Mazha, Nizhalukal, Bhagya , Ottayal and Translated Lives. Her latest film, In Return, Just a Book, is based on Perumpadavam Sreedharan’s novel Oru Sankeerthanam Pole, which was based on Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky’s life. The film was the official selection for the Indian Panorama Non-Feature section at IFFI Goa 2016.

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Shonali Muthalaly Writer, Editor of MetroPlus

Shonali Muthalaly ​is ​the Editor ​of ​the MetroPlus, The Hindu‘s lifestyle supplement and is best known for her column, The Reluctant Gourmet, which offers a sharp but affectionate look at food and all the drama that surrounds it. She also writes on theatre, travel and contemporary culture.

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Somini Sengupta Foreign Correspondent for The New York Times

Somini Sengupta, a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, has reported from a Himalayan glacier, a Congo River ferry, the streets of Baghdad and Mumbai and many places in between. Born in Calcutta/Kolkata, she was The Times’ first Indian-American bureau chief in India. She is the winner of the George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting, the Ramnath Goenka Award and other honors. She lives in New York City. The End of Karma is her first book.

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Sreemathi Ramnath Writer, Media person

Sreemathi Ramnath is a communications and leadership consultant, writer and mediaperson who works in three languages: Telugu, English and German. As the founder and principal consultant of Immer Besser Consultancy, she is retained by business houses in India, Europe and Southeast Asia, lectures at premier educational institutions and is a faculty member with several corporate academies across the world. Sreemathi has taught at various Goethe Instituts in India and abroad and has co-authored a book on teaching methods and curriculum for advanced German Courses.

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Sreenivasa Murthy Preserver of classical music

Sreenivasa Murthy, a mechanical engineer from Bengaluru, has served in leadership positions as a Quality professional in MNCs both in India and Europe. His father was a harikatha exponent and his elder brother an exploring musician and a poet who influenced Sreenivasa and introduced him to Carnatic classical music and appreciation of art and literature. Listening to music with an objective of understanding its lyrics, musical content and the emotion it contains daily, has been an integral part of his life. His passion for recording many music concerts over the last 40 years and quest for finding heritage recordings, inspired him to work on the restoration and remastering of old recordings for posterity. He has restored hundreds of heritage concerts and shared it with aficionados of music worldwide. Recognising his contribution, Sangeethapriya — an organisation dedicated to storage, preservation and posterity of classical music — conferred on him the Rasikapriya award in 2016.

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Sriram V Author, Columnist

Sriram V has an engineering degree and an MBA under his belt but is better known for his passionate interest in Chennai’s history and Carnatic Music. He writes frequently on these subjects for The Hindu (where he has two columns – Encore, a monthly and Hidden Histories, a weekly) and Madras Musings. He is the author of over 10 books, among them Carnatic Summer; The Devadasi and The Saint: the Life and Times of Bangalore Nagarathnamma; and Fifty Historic Residences of Chennai. He pioneered the concept of heritage walks in the city in 1999 and his thematic tours of the city, on the third Sunday of each month, have become very popular. In 2014 Sriram launched Chennai Past Forward, a mobile application that makes people aware of the heritage in their surroundings.

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Subhashree Krishnaswamy Writer, Editor, Translator

Subhashree Krishnaswamy is an editor, translator and writer. She has translated The Tamil Story: Through the Times, Through the Tides, an anthology of Tamil short fiction, edited by Dilip Kumar. She edited the Indian Review of Books, a monthly magazine devoted to reviews of books, for a number of years. Her book, The Babel Guide to South Indian Fiction in Translation was published by Babel Books, UK. She edited and translated an anthology of Tamil poetry, Rapids of a Great River (Penguin) along with Lakshmi Holmström and K Srilata. She also collaborated with K Srilata on the book Short Fiction from South India (OUP). She is an adjunct professor at the Asian College of Journalism and lives in Chennai.

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Sudhish Kamath Filmmaker, Writer, Film critic

Sudhish Kamath has independently written, directed and produced four feature films. His debut film That Four Letter Word, was recently adapted in Gujarati as Pela Adhi Akshar (2016) by filmmaker Kunal Shah. He’s also a film critic and former journalist with 21 years of experience, including 16 years at the The Hindu. He was on jury of the International Children’s Film Festival of India (Lucknow) and on the selection jury of the International Film Festival of Kerala (Thiruvananthapuram), 2015. He conducts workshops and lectures on films and writing in colleges like IIT-Madras, Manipal University, Karnataka; and Dayanand Sagar University, Bengaluru. He is currently working on a book on Rajinikanth for HarperCollins and an untitled international collaboration with South African actor-photographer Elsa Bleda and Japanese producer-actor Allen Ai.

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Suhasini Haidar Diplomatic Editor, The Hindu

Suhasini Haidar is the Diplomatic Editor of The Hindu, and writes regularly on foreign policy issues. Over the course of a 22-year career in journalism, Suhasini has covered the most challenging stories and  conflicts from the sub-continent and beyond including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Libya, Lebanon and Syria.  Prior to this, Suhasini was Foreign Affairs editor and prime time anchor at CNN-IBN (2005-2014), where she presented the signature show, WorldView with Suhasini Haidar, and was Correspondent at CNN International’s New Delhi bureau before that.

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Sukirtharani Poet, Activist

Sukirtharani is a Tamil poet who fights the caste system and the plight of women who are oppressed by it through her works. She has six collections of poetry to her credit: Kaipattri Yen Kanavu Kel, Iravu Mirugam, Kaamatthipoo, Theendapadaatha Muttham, Avalai Mozhipeyarthal and Ippadikku Yeval. Her awards include Thevamagal Kavithoovi Award, The Puthumaipitthan Memorial Award and the Women’s Achiever Award by the Pengal Munnani (Women’s Front). Many of her poems are taught in colleges across the State and have been translated into languages such as English, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and German. The much-appreciated short film Kannadi Meen, was based on her poem ‘Appavin Nyabagamaradhi’.  She was featured in the well-received documentary film SheWrite, which featured three other Tamil poets. Sukirtharani lives in the Ranipettai district of Vellore and teaches Tamil at the Government GirlsHigh School. She plays an active role as a feminist and social activist. She is currently writing a novel on Dailt life.

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Sunil Khilnani Author

Sunil Khilnani is author of The Idea of India (6th Edn, 2016) and, most recently, Incarnations: A History of India in Fifty Lives (2016), accompanied by his 50-part BBC radio and podcast and radio series. Among his other publications are Arguing Revolution: The Intellectual Left in Postwar France (1993), several collaborative volumes, as well as essays on Gandhi, Tagore, Nehru and contemporary Indian art and photography. He is currently Avantha Professor and Director of the India Institute at King’s College London. He has been a Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge; the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC; the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin; and the American Academy in Berlin. He is a regular contributor of essays, articles and reviews to the international media.

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Suseela Anand Advocate, Writer, Orator

Suseela Anand, an advocate, practiced in High Court of Madras for six years and extended her service in the development sector for more than 13 years. She has worked in areas like advocacy on Right to Education, Health, Human Rights, especially women and child rights. She has developed the curriculum for the Indira Gandhi National Open University School on Gender and Development Studies. She is a speaker, writer, translator, torchbearer of women empowerment, and has varied interests including theatre and drama. She is a resource person for various national organisations working for women rights and empowerment. She has participated in television debates and spoken widely speeches about feminism, women and child rights, and social justice.

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Sushila Ravindranath Consulting Editor

Sushila Ravindranath joined Business India in Mumbai as a staff writer when business was still a bad word and and Business Week famously called the country an elephant on an oil spill. She moved to Chennai in the mid 1980s and has done stories on many South Indian groups, which were publicity-shy and had never been written about. She set up Business India bureaus in all the Southern cities. She helped launch Hansazone website, an entertainment portal for R K Swamy BBDO, before she moved to the New Sunday Express as its editor. She is now a consulting editor for Financial Express and is completing a book on post-liberalisation Tamil Nadu.

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T Sumathy Poet, Writer

Thamizhachi Thangapandian is the pseudonym of Dr T Sumathy. She was a Senior-Grade Lecturer in English at Queen Mary’s College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, from 1996-2008. As a research scholar, she was the recipient of the Prestigious AIC (Australia-India Council) Fellow Award (2004). Acclaimed as a Tamil poet, her areas of interest include post-colonial literature (especially Sri Lankan and Australian), diasporic literature (especially Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora), translation, criticism and performing arts (Tamil Theatre). Currently, she is a freelance writer and a performer. She has to her credit 12 publications in Tamil and one in English. Her latest works are Avalaku Veyil Enru Peyar and Poonaihal Sorkathirku Selvathilai

 

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Talia Kurlansky Writer, Ballet artist

Talia Kurlansky is a 16-year-old New York High school student. Between the ages of nine and 12, she wrote International Night with her father, Mark Kurlansky and is currently working on a Young Adult novel about ballet, which is her passion.

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Tishani Doshi Poet, Author

Tishani Doshi was born in the city formerly known as Madras in 1975. She received her Masters in writing from Johns Hopkins University and worked in London in advertising before returning to India in 2001. At the age of 26, an encounter with the legendary choreographer Chandralekha led her to an unexpected career in dance. In 2006, her book of poems Countries of the Body won the Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection. She is also the recipient of an Eric Gregory Award and winner of the All-India Poetry Competition. She has since published five books of poetry and fiction, and currently lives on a beach in Tamil Nadu.

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Uma Tanuku Director, Line Producer

Uma Tanuku is a director, line producer, occasional cinematographer and film festival curator. She graduated in business management and foreign trade from University of Madras (1985) and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (1986).  She worked as an officer at an international trading organization for over a decade. Subsequently, to explore her potential, she studied direction at the Film & Television Institute of India (2001). Since 2001, she has been involved with several documentary projects as a line producer.  Her first film Night Hawks (2012), a documentary was shot in a purely observational style, looks at the city from the perspective of people who work at night and reveals multiple stories that often go unnoticed.  Her second film, The Books We Made (2016), she co-directed with Anupama Chandra, is a documentary inspired by Kali for Women, the first feminist publishing house in India and focuses on the feminist politics and friendships that made its survival possible. She was the Festival Director the IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival for 2016 and has been Festival Co-Director for three years from 2013-15 and a curator of several travelling film festivals.

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Urvashi Butalia Writer, Co-founder of Kali for Women

Urvashi Butalia is a publisher and writer based in Delhi. Co-founder of India’s first feminist publishing house, Kali for Women, she is today Director of Zubaan, an imprint of Kali. Publishing and books are her passion and she has worked hard to make books by and about women available in India and internationally. She writes on a range of issues and has a number of essays and books to her credit, most notable among which are the award-winning oral history of Partition, The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India, which has been translated into several languages; and several edited volumes including Partition: The Long Shadow, Speaking Peace: Women’s Voices from Kashmir; Women and the Hindu Right (co-edited with Tanika Sarkar).

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Vairamuthu Poet, Lyricist, Author

Vairamuthu is a Tamil poet, lyricist and author. He has written over 40 books, some of which have been translated into other languages. He has written over 7000 lyrics for films and has won the National Award for Best Lyricist six times and the Tamil Nadu State Award for Best Lyricist Award six times. His works are taught in universities in India and abroad and have been the subject of research. His poems have been translated into Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Russian and Norwegian. The American Library of Congress has preserved his poems recorded in his own voice as a valuable document for posterity. His awards include the Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Sahitya Akademi Award (for his novel Kallilkattu Itihasam) and the Kalaimamani Award from the Tamil Nadu Government.

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Vaishna Roy Journalist

Vaishna Roy is an Associate Editor ​with The Hindu​. She curates the Sunday Magazine, and writes on books, society and culture. She authors a fortnightly column called ‘Woman, Uninterrupted’ in Melange, besides editing the newspaper’s Property Plus supplement.

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Vasuki U National Vice-President of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA)

Vasuki U is the National Vice-President of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) and a Central Committee Member of the CPI(M). She works actively on many social and political issues such as violence against women and children, food security, caste oppression, honour killings among others. She successfully led a struggle against Coca Cola setting up a factory at Padamathur, Sivagangai district of Tamil Nadu. She has served as a resource person on gender equality to the police force, district judges and various NGOs and is a member of the Police Advisory Committee in Chennai. She was the anchor person for Magalir Panchayathu in Pothigai TV, a programme on issues related to women’s right.

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Vikram Sridhar Performance storyteller

Vikram Sridhar is a performance storyteller who believes in oral storytelling as a strong medium for conservation. Vikram combines his work and interest in theatre and conservation in his storytelling. An engineering and management graduate from premier institutes, he performs at various public and private spaces to audience of various age groups and capacities. Around The Story Tree is his initiative to connect modern listeners to the environment around us through the power of stories and arts.

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Vinayak Varma Illustrator, Author, Editor

Vinayak Varma is a Bengaluru-based illustrator, writer and editor. He is the author of Jadav and the Tree-Place and Up Down and the founder-editor of Brainwave His articles and short stories have been published in The New Indian Express, DNA, Deccan Herald, The Hindu, Muse India and Out of Print magazine. He has illustrated books for Penguin, Harper Collins, Hachette, Scholastic, Duckbill and Pratham Books.

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Vivek Karunakaran Fashion Designer

Vivek Karunakaran is one of Chennai’s consistent voices on fashion. He created his own space in a burgeoning market with a design vocabulary that refocuses attention on clean cuts and structured silhouettes. A regular at national pageants, he worked towards securing Chennai’s position in a larger fashionscape. He was recently voted one of the 50 Best Dressed Men in India by GQ The roster of celebrities he has styled includes Christian Louboutin, Ranveer Singh, Sonam Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, A. R. Rahman, Amy Jackson and Leander Paes. In his 15-year engagement with design, this ex-NIFTian has put together collections for many American and European brands, besides taking his eponymous label beyond Chennai to Bangalore, Mumbai, Riyadh, Dubai and Singapore.

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Vivek Shanbhag Author

Vivek Shanbhag writes in Kannada. He has published five short story collections, three novels and two plays, and has edited two anthologies, one of them in English. For seven years from 2005 to 2012, he published and edited the literary journal Desha Kaala. His acclaimed novel Ghachar Ghochar was published in English translation in 2015. He was a Fall 2016 resident at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. An engineer by training, Vivek Shanbhag lives in Bangalore.

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Wendy Were Executive of the Australia Council

Wendy Were was appointed to the Executive of the Australia Council in January 2014. She was previously CEO at West Australian Music, Business Advisor with the Centre of Creative Industries Innovation Centre, and Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Sydney Writers’ Festival. Wendy also holds a PhD in Literature. Wendy has wide-ranging experience in arts management, curation and business development and a track record in championing the development of sustainable career paths for Australia’s artistic workers.

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Y Manikandan Scholar-Editor, Writer

Y Manikandan, Professor of Tamil at the University of Madras, is an authority on Tamil prosody. A scholar-editor, he has worked extensively on Tamil palmleaf manuscripts. Manikandan’s longstanding interest is in the life and writings of two of Tamil’s greatest poets, Subramania Bharati and Bharatidasan. Manikandan has written/edited over thirty-five books in Tamil and is the recipient of the President of India’s Young Scholar Award for contribution to classical Tamil (2005-06).

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